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The Problem with Influencer Marketing by @NikkiElizDeMere

The-Problem-with-Influencer-Marketing-

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

Influencer marketing works. How? Influencers are people who are highly active on social media and blogs. They can be brand advocates and niche promoters. Most importantly though, they are people with loud online voices who other people listen to.

Influencer marketing leverages the loud-speaker like qualities of this group to, essentially, create word-of-mouth buzz about a business or product online. But it’s not all about buzz – as Jay Baer says: “True influence drives action, not just awareness.”

When you align with an influencer, you’re entering into a mutually beneficial relationship. You amplify their voice even more by promoting their blog or social media presence; they talk about your company or product. Consumers trust recommendations from them, more than from you, because they’re third parties. They have enough distance from your company to maintain objectivity, and they have enough cache with their audiences to where their recommendations are trusted.

You don’t have to adopt an official influencer spokesperson – the relationship is usually not that formal. Rather, influencer marketing often takes the simple form of trading guest posts, or even “you retweet me, I retweet you.”

It’s surprisingly effective.

But when you look at influencer marketing from a perspective of diversity, it’s not working so well.

Of the “50 Online Marketing Influencers to Watch in 2016,” published by Entrepreneur magazine, you’ll find that:

74% are male

86% are white

As far as non-race diversity factors go for this group, they’re anyone’s guess, but I would venture to say that even this remarkably diverse list (you should see some of the other ones), is lacking in a diversity of perspective.

So what happens when brands embrace the same group of influencers, whose voices are already loud and out there, who come from relatively privileged backgrounds?

We get a whole lot of the same.

In the influencer version of “the rich get richer,” the loud and privileged are even more amplified, to the point where they saturate the conversation and drown out voices from marginalized groups.

Pretty soon, everyone’s Twitter feed in the same niche looks identical, because they’re all re-tweeting the same influencers, over and over again. Is there an echo on here?

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A suggestion for a simple solution

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I would suggest that if you’re using influencer marketing, consider sharing content by marginalized people along with your regularly scheduled programming. Then, you’re not leaving them entirely out of the conversation. Stumped for where to begin? I’ve got you covered – try these:

@AlterConf – “An evening of critical culture discussions in tech and gaming. We’re moving the diversity conversation beyond 101. Coming to a city near you!”

@FundBetterTech – “Pledge $100/month to fund tech projects by and for marginalized people.”

@ModelViewMedia – “A magazine about tech + culture + diversity. We tweet articles and news.”

@TransH4CK – “Creating tech for the transgender community & visibility for trans technologists and entrepreneurs.”

Ensuring people who already have massive followings get their messages out there is fine, but it’s not going to add any new insights into the conversation. When you include the intelligent, savvy voices of people we don’t traditionally hear from, you allow the conversation to reach its full potential, creating a richer experience for everyone.

But honestly, just connect with people whose work you love. And if some happen to be influencers, and some don’t, that’s fine.

Curation as a power-tool

My style of Twitter using is curation. It’s what I do. It’s what I love. I’ve also found it to be a powerful tool for supporting, promoting, and amplifying marginalized influencers who deserve far more retweets than they get. For me, curation is a form of self-expression, which is why I share what I love – not what I think others will love.

Ultimately, diversity is so much more beautiful and interesting. Just check out some of the latest tweets by @Odyism, a fantasy illustrator who posted art for Black History Month on his feed.

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Let’s Get SaaSsy – I’m offering a limited number of SaaS consulting engagements.

Curation, SaaS

40+ SaaS, Marketing, and Growth Newsletters Compiled by @NikkiElizDeMere

40saasmarketinggraphic

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

Your inbox is likely a study in quantity vs. quality – and if you’d like to shift the balance towards quality, I’ve got some recommendations for you straight from my most-trusted sources. We had a pow-wow the other day and shared our shortlists (sometimes rather long shortlists) of the newsletters we not only follow, but love.

Note: most of these links go straight to the blog pages where you’ll usually see a pop-up asking you to sign up.

Specifically SaaS

  • Christoph Janz – Managing partner at Point Nine Capital, Internet entrepreneur and angel investor in some really successful startups (Zendesk), Christoph Janz, discusses the finer points of growth in SaaS. (Twitter)
  • Clement Vouillon – Twice monthly newsletter on SaaS trends, market figures, news and interesting startups. (Twitter)
  • Grow.co – A weekly newsletter on Customer Acquisition and Retention that boasts a 45% open rate. (Twitter)
  • Hiten Shah’s SaaS Weekly – Weekly e-mail chock full of links about SaaS. (Twitter)
  • Ivan Kirigin – If Dropbox, Facebook, YesGraph and Tipjoy ring a bell, you might want in on the posts of Ivan Kirigin, who’s been elbows-deep in them all. (Twitter)
  • Kalzumeus – Twice a month, tops, you’ll find an essay on selling software better. The Kalzumeus podcast is also well worth checking out for all things SaaS marketing. (Twitter)
  • SaaS Club – An e-mail digest of SaaS news and articles. (Twitter)
  • SaaStr – Jason Lemkin shares what he knows about growth in SaaS and B2B markets, and as managing director of Storm Ventures, he knows a lot. (Twitter)
  • Sixteen Ventures – Customer Success and Growth Hacking insights from Lincoln Murphy. (Twitter)
  • Tomasz Tunguz –  Daily, data-driven blog posts about key questions facing startups including how to fund raise, startup benchmarks, management best practices and team building. Join thousands of others receiving these blog posts daily by e-mail. (Twitter)
  • Totango – Customer Success for SaaS is Totango’s Newsletter’s forte. (Twitter)

Marketing “in General”

  • Andrew Chen – Weekly newsletter on what’s happening in Silicon Valley and entrepreneurship. (Twitter)
  • Backlinko – Twice a month e-mail with nothing but the best information on increasing traffic. (Twitter)
  • Conversion XL – Landing pages, e-mail marketing, copywriting, lead gen, UX, pricing strategy, this blog has it all. Subscription comes with a free guide to A/B testing. (Twitter)
  • Copy Blogger – Writing copy that sells, measuring it, and managing it all happen on the CopyBlogger blog, highlights of which you can read comfortably in your inbox when you subscribe. (Twitter)
  • CopyHackers – Want to know how the copy pros do a newsletter? It’s worth signing up just to check their subject lines. (Twitter)
  • Customer.io – Weekly posts on e-mail marketing, copywriting, customer happiness and even psychology. (Twitter)
  • GrooveHQ Support – Customer support lessons to increase retention, referrals and revenue. (Twitter)
  • Growth Devil – This “growth hacking agency for startups” has some really great content, like the intriguing “why my face is bad for conversion.” (Twitter)
  • Helpscout – Weekly e-mail of their latest posts on growth, retention and of course, support. (Twitter)
  • Jim Gray – Putting crazy marketing technology tricks at the fingertips of non-engineers. (Twitter)
  • Moz Top 10 – A semimonthly digest of inbound marketing news, tips and links. (Twitter)
  • Nielsen Norman Group – Weekly newsletter with article summaries on interface usability, web design and UX. (Twitter)
  • Ryan Gum – Startup marketing from the trenches, including this post which we all might find relevant after this list: “How to deal with information overload and retain 90% of what you consume.” (Twitter)
  • Sujan Patel – Marketing tips to grow your business. (Twitter)
  • User Onboarding – Samuel Hulick, user onboarding expert,  examines how the most successful companies handle onboarding new users in his “teardowns.” Sign up for those teardowns – they’re golden. (Twitter)
  • Vero – E-mail marketing, Cialdini, and Social Media are just three of the topics this blog covers. (Twitter)

Straight-Up Growth Hacking

Other Good Stuff

  • Double Your Freelancing – Brennan Dunn, Freelancer, Author, and Entrepreneur sends weekly words of wisdom on building a better freelancing business. (Twitter)
  • Foundcy – Your daily fix of the best posts read by founders. (Twitter)
  • Mattermark Daily – Daily curated selection of reading from investor and founder bloggers, events to check out, companies to watch, and other great reads. (Twitter)
  • Product Hunt – The best new products, every day. (Twitter)

Any newsletters that you’re following that aren’t listed here? Mention them in the comments! Also be sure to check out my own newsletter; you can subscribe to the right.


Let’s Get SaaSsy – I’m offering a limited number of SaaS consulting engagements.

Curation

15 Blogs I Love, Compiled by @NikkiElizDeMere

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01. Annie Cushing / Annielytics

@AnnieCushing

Annie makes data sexy. She’s played just about every role one can play when it comes to creating and promoting content online. She’s written it, edited it, marketed it, optimized it, acquired links for it, e-mailed about it, pimped it on social media, you name it. And all those things are just fabulous. But she points out that if you don’t measure it, how will you know what you did right, what you could have done better, and what each of your audience segments wants more of? And if your data is ugly, you run the risk of not motivating others to take the actions you want them to take based on your data.

She will give you practical strategies to help you put your data in stilettos and make it work the pole. She’ll show you how to use tools like the ubiquitous Google Analytics, as well as various tools that help you analyze social media success and even competitive intelligence. (That’s when you’ll have to buckle your seat belt and return your tray to its upright position.) Her goal is to make my blog posts short and easy to digest.

02. Customer.io

@CustomerIO

Customer.io helps web and mobile apps send smarter e-mails. They blog about everything from sending and receiving data, setting up triggered and manual e-mails, segmenting, and integrating between e-mail clients. They also provide examples to get started.

03. Jim Gray

@grayj_

Jim is an engineer and data scientist, specializing in marketing automation, customer issues, and repeatable growth processes. His blog provides refreshingly direct coverage of product development, marketing strategy, and marketing trends, with a bit of a slant towards B2B SaaS since he’s currently bootstrapping a product in that domain.

He also publishes a newsletter on marketing strategy and technique, which I strongly recommend. Unlike many newsletters, it receives unique blog-length content, and is geared towards “use it today” advice about making your marketing both more effective and more conscious of its effect on customer experience and success.

04. Joanna Wiebe / Copyhackers

@copyhackers

Joanna promises to help you write more persuasive, believable and usable copy – sans pixie dust – so you can boost your website and e-mail conversion rates.

She says she fell into copywriting. Just totally tumbled in, head over feet. She didn’t like the word “copywriter” when she first started – so she went by “creative writer”. She feels that was a big mistake that set her back three years. Now she know that COPY is awesome, and that copywriters are the best-kept secret in the sales and marketing world.

05. Kiki Schirr / Tech Doodles

@KikiSchirr / @tech_doodles

Kiki Schirr has worked at Geek Squad, Apple Support, for a technology council and has helped found a startup, Fittr. She wakes up at night dreaming about gadgets and marketing tools, and is using her doodles to exorcise the funny, sometimes dark situations that crop up for a woman in tech. She hopes to make people laugh, and to show girls that it’s okay to be wrong once in a while.

Kiki’s other projects include blogging for {grow} and for The Craft

Kiki Schirr

06. Laura Klein / Users Know

@lauraklein

Laura fell in love with technology 20 years ago when she saw her first usability test. Since then, she’s been an engineer, designer, and product manager, helping companies of all sizes learn about their users so they can build better products. She’s the author of UX for Lean Startups and a second book coming out in 2016 called Build Better Products. Her blog and podcast at Users Know cover topics ranging from product management, design, startups, growth, and general tech ranting.

07. Lincoln Murphy / Sixteen Ventures

@lincolnmurphy

Since 2006, Lincoln Murphy has directly helped 300+ SaaS companies accelerate their growth by optimizing the Customer Lifecycle, from customer acquisition to retention. On his blog you can learn about everything from Customer Success, to Growth Marketing, and SaaS business models and revenue models.

08. Patrick McKenzie / Kalzemeus

@patio11

Patrick McKenzie was an engineer with an idea for some software. Programming came easy, marketing didn’t, but he appreciated the new challenge. At some point over the years, he graduated from being an engineer to running a software business. He’s been blogging regularly since 2006 — check out his greatest hits for a curated list of the best stuff he’s produced, or read this if you want the brief overview.

09. Peep Laja / ConversionXL

@peeplaja

Get actionable business advice, latest research and experiments on conversion optimization and getting better business results.

Whether it’s your website, your landing pages, products, pricing or marketing campaigns – the content here will help you improve your business.

Peep Laja is an entrepreneur and a conversion optimization junkie. He runs a unique conversion optimization marketing agency called Markitekt (they make existing sites better and build new conversion optimized websites) + several niche internet businesses like T1Q and others.

He delivers trainings and workshops on conversion optimization and internet marketing, consult businesses in need and plan the architecture of websites that sell.

10. Price Intelligently

@priceintel

Price Intelligently empowers companies to get the most out of SaaS.

Their mantras:

  • Data is essential, but simply translating it into graphs won’t solve the problem. Data requires critical thinking to become truly valuable.
  • Success isn’t about raising money, it’s about happy paying customers. Ten happy customers will pay more dividends than a hundred ready to churn at any moment.
  • Focusing on one industry helps us better understand and empower our customers.

11. Randal Olson

@randal_olson

Randy runs the popular data blog at RandalOlson.com/blog/, most recently known for creating the “Ultimate American Road Trip” and solving Where’s Waldo?.

He tweets daily about data analysis and visualization and and leads the largest online community dedicated to data visualization on Reddit, /r/DataIsBeautiful, which now serves over 2,000,000 unique monthly visitors.

Beside all that, he works as an AI researcher at the University of Pennsylvania trying to usher in the next era of Artificial Intelligence, and does his best to ensure that AI will end up friendly rather than a malevolent Skynet.

redditviz

12. Talia Wolf / Conversioner

@TaliaGw

“It’s not what you’re selling, it’s who you’re selling to.” — Talia Wolf, Founder and CEO of Conversioner

Conversioner’s blog is the textbook manual to all things emotional and psychological in conversion optimization. It provides actionable tips and guides on how to rock conversion optimization and grow your business.

Talia’s job is to build and execute her client’s conversion optimization strategies, using emotional targeting, consumer psychology and user behavior data to generate more revenues, leads, engagement and sales.

She’ll give you actionable tips on how to build better user journeys (from landing pages and registration forms to entire checkout flows and mobile sites), how to finally A/B test correctly and understand your test results and how to build marketing strategies and follow templates for higher conversion rates.

13. Tomasz Tunguz

@ttunguz

Tomasz is a partner at Redpoint where he writes daily, data-driven blog posts about key questions facing startups including how to fund raise, startup benchmarks, management best practices and team building.

14. Vero

@getvero

Vero offers a smart way to automate e-mails based on what your customers do. And that’s what you can learn about on their blog, which offers great beginner to advanced material about e-mail marketing campaigns.

15. Violeta Nedkova

@V4Violetta

Violeta is a multi-passionate, which means she’ll blog about anything from startups and growth to writing and inspiration, with some random mentions of dream interpretation and productivity hacks throw in for good measure.

She is a member of many startup communities, including Product Hunt, so she gets a lot of inspiration from there.

What I like the most is that Violeta always finds the quickest, easiest way to get the job done – if you’re looking for clients on twitter or trying to get more feedback for your app, she’s one step ahead of you. She even has this handy curation for those who wish to master startup marketing.

Let’s Get SaaSsy – I’m offering a limited number of SaaS consulting engagements.

Curation, SaaS

15 E-Books 📖 for SaaS Companies, Compiled by @NikkiElizDeMere

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Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

Here are 15 e-books for validating, growing, and scaling your SaaS company. Please post additional recommendations in the comments and I’ll consider adding them to the list.

01. 59 Tips for Scaling Startup Sales (Free)

Upshift

“When some of our Upshift advisors suggested we develop an e-book to help encapsulate some of the great teachings that are part of our 12-week curriculum to help accelerate the growth of tech startups, I thought, ok, I’ll add it to our project sprint for that week.

Four months later, I couldn’t be prouder of the detailed, yet easy-to-read summary of 59 tips, directly from the mouths of some of our stellar team of advisors, that can help any startup hone in on the process necessary to scale successfully.

We all know “learning from mistakes” is part of the drill when it comes to startup growth, but who wants to make mistakes? Wouldn’t it be great if you could minimize some of the pain that comes with turning your passion into a profitable enterprise?

In this e-book, startup founders will come to understand some of the common pitfalls made by young companies in the early days so you can do your best to avoid them. For some, it will provide the structure and organization that your company currently lacks; for others, it will be a refresher on what you know to be true about building exceptional sales teams but are too caught up in the day-to-day tasks to act upon it.

The e-book is divided into six sections which closely mirror the stages of growth acceleration Upshift implements through its curriculum.”

02. 100 Days of Growth ($27)

Sujan Patel & Rob Wormley

“You could spend a lifetime trying to sift through and digest all the blog posts, podcasts, guides, and case studies that exist online about growth hacking—or you could start taking action today.

These 100 growth tactics were compiled based on strategies and techniques that Sujan Patel and Rob Wormley have used to help hundreds of clients move the needle and actually grow their businesses.”

03. Acquiring Customers is Hard (Free)

Receiptful

“Industry-wide benchmarks shows that it costs about 5x more to acquire a new customer versus just retaining an existing customer (and maximizing the amount of money they thus spend with you over their lifetime).

This book includes a whole bunch of best practices, tips, tricks and techniques to not only help you retain your customers, but also maximize your Customer Lifetime Value.”

04. A Developer’s Guide to App Marketing (Free)

Paddle

“This 27 page guide will look at some of the marketing techniques you can adopt to attract new users, drive more downloads and grow your app.”

05. Copywriting E-Books for Tech Startups and Marketers (Varies)

Joanna Wiebe

“You can write your own copy. You just need to know how to do it right – without taking some insanely long course or reading a 500-page tome meant for professional copywriters. Learn to sell on your site and landing pages with Copy Hackers bite-sized, uber-popular e-books. (Over 30,000 sold!)”

06. Fake It → Make It ($2.99)

Amir Khella

“Is it possible to create an interactive demo of your app idea without using a design tool, without knowing how to write code, and without hiring any designers or programmers to help you with it?

Many people spend weeks learning new design tools and programming languages, and thousands of dollars hiring designers and developers, to make an early version of their app that users may not even want.

This book introduces a simple, fast and cheap approach to prototyping web and mobile apps with no design or coding skills required. You will learn a proven process that is being used by more than 50,000 designers, entrepreneurs and product managers worldwide.”

07. Hooked ($12.99)

Nir Eyal

“Why do some products capture widespread attention while others flop? What makes us engage with certain products out of sheer habit? Is there a pattern underlying how technologies hook us?

Nir Eyal answers these questions (and many more) by explaining the Hook Model—a four-step process embedded into the products of many successful companies to subtly encourage customer behavior. Through consecutive “hook cycles,” these products reach their ultimate goal of bringing users back again and again without depending on costly advertising or aggressive messaging.

Hooked is based on Eyal’s years of research, consulting, and practical experience. He wrote the book he wished had been available to him as a start-up founder—not abstract theory, but a how-to guide for building better products. Hooked is written for product managers, designers, marketers, start-up founders, and anyone who seeks to understand how products influence our behavior.”

08. How to Build Websites That Sell ($4.95)

Peep Laja

“This book will make you money. It will teach you how to build your website in such a way that it converts visitors into leads or buyers.

Building websites that sell is not an art; it’s a science. It’s not about gut feelings and personal preferences – nothing to do with bells and whistles. You will learn how to optimize your website for sales, based on all the best research and experiments.

You start by defining a business objective for your website. What follows is careful planning regarding how to design the website in such a way that it produces maximum results. Everything you need to boost sales you will learn from this book – filled with straight-to-the-point advice and lots of examples. Everything in this book is based on in-depth industry knowledge and scientific research.

Why should you care about conversion optimization (the science of turning more visitors into buyers) in the first place?

It is the cheapest, quickest way to increase sales online. Think about this: if you’re currently converting at 1% (1% of your visitors buy your stuff), but can increase that to a mere 2%, you’ve doubled your sales.

This book will help you do better, smarter marketing. It’s a must-read for anyone that wants to get more business from their website.”

09. Intercom on Product Management (Free)

Intercom

“Drawing from some of the best posts on our blog, Intercom on Product Management offers guidance on the tough decisions you need to make as a PM.”

10. The Product Hunt Manual: How to Launch Your Startup or Product on the Internet’s Hottest Site ($7.99)

Kiki Schirr

“Startups that launch on Product Hunt can see thousands of signups or tens of thousands of views on the first day alone–if they rank in the top ten.

We all know that Product Hunt is the place to launch your startup, but it can be hard to tell why or how a product shoots up the charts. Learn how to maximize your performance on Product Hunt by leveraging your network.

Kiki Schirr is a big fan of the Product Hunt community, and an avid Hunter. Ryan Hoover, founder of Product Hunt, named her as one of the 30 Hunters with the highest quality hunts in his “2014 in Numbers” Medium post. When this book was on Product Hunt it took first place, and remains in the top 100 hunts of all time.

This book simplifies the process of rising up the Product Hunt rankings by dividing this book into two parts—an explanatory section that goes into theory, and an example workbook, that will help you prepare for your day in the spotlight.”

11. SaaS Marketing Essentials ($49)

Ryan Battles

“Whether you’re kicking a SaaS idea around in your head or are looking to level-up your current recurring revenue, this book shows you how to attract and convert new users.”

12. SaaS Pricing Page Blueprint (Free)

Price Intelligently

“Learn from the best practices of over 270 top SaaS companies.”

13. Startup Edition (Free)

Oscar Orlando Arévalo

“Ryan Hoover started startupedition.com as a side project. It was a curated gathering of bloggers in the startup community sharing their wisdom and response to a single question. A lot of people, myself included, could learn about startups, products, startup culture, customers and mistakes every week. For free. Directly from founders, hackers and designers.

The “problem”: this was a weekly newsletter with knowledge all over the internet. Every question will be answered by a member of the startup edition crew in one of their blogs and it was really hard to find a specific post about a specific topic. This is how this e-book came to life.

Startup Edition — the e-book — started as a way to organize all of the knowledge from the startupedition.com newsletter in one place. A place where every entrepreneur — or aspiring entrepreneur — could learn how founders struggled with their startups and overcame adversity.”

14. The Ultimate Guide To Medium ($12)

Greg Muender

“When I published a story called “Uber vs. Lyft: An Insider’s Perspective,” it received 29,000 views on Medium. Since I included special links at the bottom of the story, I received between $50 – $300 for each driver that signed up. Ultimately, nearly 170 drivers did, netting me $10,000 cash for one single story.

This e-book is designed to teach you how to use Medium to write and promote stories that do whatever you need them to – make money, build a brand, acquire users, raise funds for a charity, obtain media exposure, or even land a book deal. The power of Medium is limitless, and I want to show you exactly how you can harness it.

So what format does the book come in? Why, you’ll be able to read it right on Medium, of course! You’ll get a link to the secret content.”

15. User Onboarding ($49)

Samuel Hulick

“User adoption is the lifeblood of every product company. Corporate, startup, bootstrapped or otherwise, if your company’s ‘user faucet’ was shut off, everything would wither up and die.

Of course, having just a trickle of all your signups becoming full-fledged users isn’t exactly a winning strategy, either. A lot of late nights and hard-earned dollars went into creating your product and sending people to it – how many of those people are surviving the journey?”

Bonus How to Align SaaS Content Marketing and Product Management (Free)

Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré

This one is by me! ☕️💕

You’ve seen the studies – companies that retain customers grow bigger and faster than companies focused solely on customer acquisition. You can fill your funnel to the brim, but if your onboarding process acts like a leaky sieve, you’ll never have enough revenue to build and grow sustainably.

The good news? You have everything you need, right now, to create a sustainable system for acquiring and retaining your ideal customers.

It’s not a magic formula. It’s just two people: Your content marketer and your product manager. Working together.


Let’s Get SaaSsy – I’m offering a limited number of SaaS consulting engagements.

Curation, Social Media, Tools

Twitter Stack Used by @NikkiElizDeMere

twitter-stack

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

I have almost 60,000 followers on Twitter (as of February 2017), and while that might not be Lana Del Rey numbers (she’s in the millions), it’s enough for people to ask me which tools I use to manage my Twitter account. If you’re into Growth Marketing or Customer Success, and want to meet other people in your industry, find mentors, market your products and services, or just want in on the conversation, here’s how I do all that and more.


Grow with TribeBoost and FollowerWonk

TribeBoost helps you increase your Twitter followers by monitoring real-time hashtags and keywords that specifically relate to your niche. Then they go one step further by looking at biographical data, location and influence, and automatically follow the most promising leads. You know how it works – to gain followers, first you must follow. What I love about TribeBoost is that it doesn’t unfollow users who follow you back.

FollowerWonk lets me look at who my followers are, where they are, and what they’re talking about, which means I can find people with common interests that much faster. Hey, we might have even met that way.

Automate Twitter with Buffer and IFTTT (or Zapier)

I use Buffer to schedule my Tweets in advance, Start A FIRE to promote my brand and content, and IFTTT to, well… this takes some explaining. IFTTT is a semiacronym for “if this, then that.” You enter an if-then statement, like “If new Twitter follower, then send LinkedIn invitation.” It’s really amazing and can be used for everything from social media to getting alerts on your phone when the book you’ve been waiting for finally hits Kindle. Well worth your time to investigate its possibilities.

Chat with TweetChat and HashTracking

All the best conversations are happening in Twitter these days. It’s the best way to reach other people in your industry, like mentors, bloggers and thought-leaders. TweetChat makes it easy to chat by letting you just enter in a hashtag to follow a conversation. From there, you can save your favorite conversations on FavePages (sorted by date and hashtag) and even share FavePage Stories – all the Tweets in a conversation, curated by you (i.e. you can hide and re-order Tweets as needed).

HashTracking literally optimizes your conversation by telling you stats on the hashtag being used, lists of contributors and influencers, and giving you the ability to create shareable HashTracks™ infographics.

Make it Pretty with Canva and Pablo

I remember the days when 140-characters was all you got – now we’ve got a thousand words we have to come up with! In pictures, I mean. I use Canva and Pablo to create quick images that gain a little more attention for my Tweets.

Share Faster with Pullquote

Pullquote makes it easy for me to Tweet quotes or images from articles I find online. Just highlight the quote, select Tweet from the menu that pops up, enter your thought, tag it, and it’s Tweeted. A content curator’s dream.


Yes, I love my tools, but their sole purpose is this: To make it easier for me to share really interesting, useful content with you. That said, the one thing that I think you should never automate is engagement (I hate automated DMs), but everything else is fair game.

What are your favorite tools? Leave a comment and let me know.


Let’s Get SaaSsy – I’m offering a limited number of SaaS consulting engagements.

Curation, Growth Hacking

10 Inspirational Growth Marketers ft. @Everette, @grayj_, @MorganB, & More

inspirational-marketers

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

People who have helped shape how I think about Growth Marketing.

Not only are these Growth Marketers inspirational because of their contributions to online businesses, but also because of their contributions in a larger sense — they are just great people to know. I am continuously humbled by everything I’m learning from them, whether it’s about Growth Marketing or not.


1. Everette Taylor

Everette Taylor currently serves as Chief Marketing Officer for the popular e-commerce brand Sticker Mule, the maker of custom stickers for brands such as Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Google, Instagram, Apple, Walmart, ESPN, etc. He also recently helped launched the new brand Button Frog, the fastest and easiest way to order custom buttons/pins.

Other current projects include MilliSense, a marketing firm in which Everette founded that dedicates itself to growing companies and brands through data-driven digital marketing. Also, he partners with NFL Player Brandian Ross on the clothing Unity Over Self which raises money for children with autism.

Previously Everette was an integral member of the team that started GrowthHackers.com and served as Head of Growth. Other notable brands include United Way, Qualaroo, Hired, and celebrity author Neil Strauss.

Everette says he’s happier than ever, professionally and personally. His primary focus is continuing to push the growth of Sticker Mule and new brand Button Frog while maintaining a healthy work life balance. Diversity in the tech industry is something he’s passionate about and he plans to continue advocating on its behalf.

Follow Everette on Twitter.


2. Hiten Shah

Hiten is the co-founder of KISSmetrics and Crazy Egg.He helped coin the term “growth hacker” with Sean Ellis and Patrick Vlaskovits.

He loves starting and growing businesses and is eager to help others do the same.

Follow Hiten on Twitter.


3. Jim Gray

Jim is an engineer and data scientist, specializing in marketing automation. He provides consulting in technological marketing, the effects of UX on growth, email marketing, and integrated marketing strategies.

He writes about designing and marketing products using customer success thinking at grayj.co, although you’ll have to subscribe to his newsletter to see most of his content.

Follow Jim on Twitter.


4. Lincoln Murphy

Lincoln goes by many fun titles  —  but his current focus is on being a Customer Success Evangelist at Gainsight. Since 2006, he’s directly helped over 600 SaaS companies optimize their growth.

He’s contributed to, written for, or been featured in Inc. Magazine, Fast Company, Sandhill.com, GrowthHacker.tv, OpenView Labs, Read WriteChiefExecutive.net, SoftwareCEO, Venture Beat, Venture Hacks, and ZDNet.

He also keeps an up-to-date blog at Sixteen Ventures. In his free time you’ll find him enjoying yoga and bubble tea.

Follow Lincoln on Twitter.


5. Morgan Brown

A full-stack marketer focused on growth, Morgan has spent the last 14 years building audiences for startups and brands alike on the Web.

He’s part of the GrowthHackers.com and Qualaroo team, and leads growth efforts for Inman News.

You can follow him on Twitter, or learn more about what he does at FullStack.it.

When he’s not tied to his computer he loves spending time with his wife and two kids who he adores more than anything. In his rare spare time he loves reading and learning as much as he can.

Follow Morgan on Twitter.


6. Kiki Schirr

Kiki Schirr is the marketer for Fittr and in her spare time is a contributor at {grow} and for The Craft, which is a collaboration with Violeta Nedkova and Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré.

Recently she’s started a series of comics on Medium, but usually her creative efforts are focused on painting or writing.

She wrote the Product Hunt Manual and is working on a second edition, and on starting her blog (eventually).

She loves meeting new people through Twitter, and thinks she has the silliest professional bio of any tweep.

Follow Kiki on Twitter.


7. Ryan Hoover

Ryan got his first taste of entrepreneurship as a pre-teen managing gum-ball machines at his father’s video game store.

Then he grew up, worked at a failed gaming startup after college, moved to Silicon Valley to join a 10-person team that grew to 120, and experimented with his own startup ideas along the way, one of which seems to be working.

He’s the founder of Product Hunt, a daily leader board of the best new products, and an EIR at Tradecraft where his team trains smart people in sales/BD, UX, and growth.

He also writes about startups and product design with essays featured inTechCrunch, The Next Web, Forbes, and Fast Company.

Follow Ryan on Twitter.


8. Sean Ellis

Sean is the CEO and Founder of Qualaroo and GrowthHackers.com, and the first marketer at Dropbox, Lookout, Xobni, LogMeIn (IPO), and Uproar (IPO).

He coined the term “growth hacker”, and devised the startup pyramid which is widely recognized and referred to as an industry standard.

Follow Sean on Twitter.


9. Shana Carp

Shana is a product marketer specializing in products that deal with data. She has a deep love for conversion optimization techniques, and using Python as an Excel replacement.

In her spare time she likes to cook and bake.

Follow Shana on Twitter.


10. Violeta Nedkova

Violeta Nedkova likes to say she’s always hacking things. Her focus is on social media, content marketing, and community, and her blog is a plethora of topics, such as marketing, startups, and psychology.

She was previously co-founder of Amazemeet, but currently enjoys consulting and curating The Craft with her best friends Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré and Kiki Schirr.

She can be found on twitter or her favorite communities: Product Hunt, Somewhere, and Inbound.

Follow Violeta on Twitter.


Let’s Get SaaSsy – I’m offering a limited number of SaaS consulting engagements.

Conversion Rate Optimization, Curation, Metrics, Tools

34 Tools for Conversion Rate Optimization ft. @MorganB

tools-for-cro

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (‏@yazsedky).

Qualitative, quantitative, testing, and workflow tools for conversion rate optimization.

Conversion Rate Optimization is one of the most powerful levers for driving online business growth.


The Conversion Rate Optimization process includes quantitative and qualitative data and testing with a scientific approach.

As Peep Laja mentions, “[CRO] tools aren’t as important as knowing what to do with them. Putting a scalpel in someone’s hand doesn’t make them a surgeon.” That said, building a CRO stack won’t make you an expert, but it’s a good place to start when familiarizing yourself with related methodologies.

The tools listed here were curated by Qualaroo and Segment.io during a webinar about how to build the perfect conversion stack. There isn’t an accompanying video for it, but if you have questions you can direct them here.


Quantitative Tools

The What

Google Analytics (@googleanalytics)
An ad click here, a page view there, a video watched on a tablet before bed… but which one clinched the sale? Google Analytics has the latest in full-credit measurement, so you see all the stops people take on the road to action. The result: a measurable way to improve campaigns and reach new audiences as they go through their days.

KISSMetrics (@KISSmetrics)
Google Analytics tells you what’s happening. KISSmetrics tell you who’s doing it.

Mixpanel (@mixpanel)
Mixpanel lets you measure what customers do in your app by reporting actions, not page views.

Woopra (@Woopra)
No more guessing what customers did on your site or app. Know how engaged each customer is, and exactly what actions they performed — all in real-time.

Omniture / Adobe Marketing Cloud (@AdobeMktgCloud)
Analytics, social, media optimization, targeting, web experience management — and now cross-channel campaign management with Adobe Campaign — Adobe Marketing Cloud does it all.

Clicky (@clicky)
Real-time analytics.

Adobe Analytics (@AdobeAnalytics)
Adobe Analytics helps you create a holistic view of your business by turning all customer interactions, including offline data, into actionable insights. The marketing reports and analytics, ad hoc analysis, and data workbench technologies give you access to easy-to-use, interactive dashboards, reports, and visualizations. With the market-leading solution, you’ll better understand the whole customer journey.


Qualitative Tools

The Why

Qualaroo (@QualarooInc)
Analytics tell you what people are doing on your website. Qualaroo tells you why. Qualaroo insights lead to smarter tests and faster improvements in your website’s performance.

Survey.io (@QualarooInc)
Create an initial customer development survey.

Survey Monkey (@SurveyMonkey)
SurveyMonkey is the world’s most popular online survey software. We make it easier than ever to create polls and survey questionnaires for learning about anything from customer satisfaction to employee engagement. Sign up to access our library of sample survey questions and expert-certified templates. Customize your survey questions, distribute your questionnaire on the web, and start collecting responses in real time. Our Analyze tool helps you turn survey data into insights and create professional reports.

Olark (@olark)
Experience the easiest way to boost your sales, help solve issues and understand your customers with Olark live chat.

SessionCam (@SessionCam)
Session replay, heatmaps, and conversion funnels.

Inspectlet (@Inspectlet)
Analyze user behavior instantly with eye-tracking heat maps, screen capture (record and playback actual visitor sessions), and user-interaction analytics.

ClickTale (@ClickTale)
ClickTale takes the guess work out of website optimization, conversion analysis and usability research. Knowing how visitors use your website will enable you better target specific audiences, improve customer satisfaction and increase conversion. Use ClickTale to analyze the performance of your online forms, keep visitors engaged in page content, and lead them through the conversion process.

CrazyEgg (@CrazyEgg)
The original heatmapping technology.

UserTesting (@usertesting)
Get videos of real people speaking their thoughts as they use your website or mobile app.

FiveSecondTest (@fivesecondtest)
Fivesecondtest helps you fine tune your landing pages and calls
to action by analyzing the most prominent elements of your design.

Silverback 2.0 (@silverbackapp)
Guerrilla usability testing software for designers and developers.

Hot Jar (@HotjarApps)
All-in-one analytics and feedback.


Testing Tools

The How & When

Optimizely (@Optimizely)
Increase engagement, interactions, and conversions.

Unbounce (@unbounce)
Marketers: build, publish & A/B test your landing pages without I.T.

Ion (@ioninteractive)
Easily create and test app-like digital experiences that generate leads, enhance brands, and drive revenue.

Visual Website Optimizer (@wingify)
Create and test different versions of your website to continuously discover the best performing versions that increase your online sales.

AppsFlyer (@AppsFlyer)
Mobile apps installation referral and conversion tracking service.

Adobe Target (@AdobeTarget)
Most marketers want to test and target but don’t think they have the time, expertise, or tools. Adobe has simplified it to a click.

Yozio
Yozio makes it easy for organizations with mobile apps to develop a deep understanding of their users and drive acquisition, engagement, revenue and retention.


Workflow Tools

The Learning

workflow_tools

Google Drive (@googledrive)
Drive starts you with 15 GB of free Google storage, so you can keep pictures, stories, designs, drawings, recordings, videos — anything.

Panic (@panic)
We make Macintosh software: Coda, Diet Coda, Transmit, Unison, Prompt, and more.

PowerPoint
Build the story, present with presence and inspire your audience

Excel
Unlock insights and tell the story in your data.

Experiment Engine (@expengine)
Build your testing plan, source variations, run experiments, and gather results–all from one platform.

Python (@ThePSF)
Python is a programming language that lets you work quickly and integrate systems more effectively.

Geckoboard (@geckoboard)
Use data to make better decisions and motivate your team.

Confluence (@atlassian)
Give your team one place to share, find, and collaborate on information they need to get work done.


Company Stage Matters

Company stage matters when conducting CRO. Morgan Brown goes into detail about that here.


Let’s Get SaaSsy – I’m offering a limited number of SaaS consulting engagements.